The best way to you can support our community and our schools is by voting yes for Measures W and X in this election. You probably know that schools in California are losing dramatic amounts of funding due to the state’s fiscal crisis. In fact, the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) has lost over $20 million just in the past four years! This has resulted in cuts to programs, staffing, and opportunities in our schools that directly impact our kids.
The Santa Barbara Education Foundation is once again leading the campaign to support two parcel tax measures (W and X) on the ballot in June, for the elementary and secondary schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Measures W and X will pick up where Measures H and I (2008) leave off when they sunset next year. Thanks to the voters, the funds raised by Measures H and I have allowed the SBUSD to continue providing strong arts, music, foreign language, theater, science, and math programs as well as keeping class sizes smaller in some 9th grade courses. Through W and X we would be able to maintain and enhance these programs, as well as add more trade programs in the high schools (Measure W).
If you live outside the City of Santa Barbara you only vote for Measure W; if you live in the city you vote for both W and X. Combined, these measures will generate $16 million in funds for our schools. This is a very small investment in our schools, our students – and in our community, which thrives when we have well-educated kids and diverse academic and elective programs. If you have come to a spring performance at one of our high schools, you know that the arts electives are paying off – in in our students’ talent, discipline, cooperation, and joy!
Please vote yes on Measures W (and X if you live in the City of Santa Barbara) – these measures each need a two-thirds majority of votes in order to win. If these measures lose, we also lose the support our schools have been receiving from Measures H and I, which expire in June of 2013.
Funds raised by these measures cannot be taken away by Sacramento. They provide us with a stable source of local revenue for programs that could no longer exist given the dire state of education funding in California right now. Our students are counting us to support these measures, and it’s the best investment we can make in the future.
Lynn Rodriguez is president of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and co-chair of the Yes on W and X Committee.